Against All Things Ending. Home · Against All Things Ending Author: Stephen R. Against All Things Ending. Read more · Against All Things Ending. Against All Things Ending is a fantasy novel by American writer Stephen R. Donaldson. and on 28 October in the United Kingdom. A preview of the book's first chapter is currently available in PDF form from the author's website. Start by marking “Against All Things Ending (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #3)” as Want to Read: Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novelist; in the United Kingdom he is usually called "Stephen Donaldson" (without the "R").
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Linden Avery resolves to find Jeremiah before confronting the newly awakened Worm of the World's End, when the Harrow appears and claims that he can take her to her son.
It is the Harrow's purpose to confront the Worm, for which he requires the Staff of Law and the white gold ring; he demands to borrow them to use, in return for which he offers to retrieve Jeremiah. The Ardent, a representative of the Insequent, arrives to ensure that the Harrow does not betray Linden Avery.
Thomas Covenant, who must struggle with his memories, takes the krill from its place in Andelain. However, his former wife Joan is able to attack Covenant with wild magic through the krill ; also, without the krill' s protection the skurj and the Sandgorgons now controlled by the Raver samadhi Sheol will lay waste to Andelain and the surrounding Salva Gildenbourne.
Ultimately, with assurances that the Ardent — and, through him, the entire race of the Insequent — that the Harrow will not deal falsely, Linden agrees to the bargain, and surrenders the Staff and the ring. The Ardent is charged by his kindred to both constrain and assist the Harrow — which means that, by the innate law of the Insequent, his life is forfeit to failure as well. There, at the great bridge the Viles called The Hazard, Anele becomes enraptured by the deep stone of the earth, and prophesies that the Worm will ultimately seek the Earthblood as its final sustenance: In witnessing this prophecy, the Ardent accomplishes one of his private goals; however, the Harrow fails to open the portal to the Lost Deep.
Ultimately it is Linden, using the Staff, who is able to undo the Viles' magic due to the insight she gained from Caerroil Wildwood, and from her personal encounter with the Viles themselves in the Land's past. It is revealed that it was to steal this insight that motivated the Harrow's initial attempt to possess Linden, before he was denied by the Mahdoubt. By regaining the Staff, Linden also discovers that far beneath even the Lost Deep slumbers a powerful bane called She Who Must Not Be Named — a tormented avatar of countless betrayed women throughout history, including Kastenessen's lover, and the banished wife of the Creator, Diassomer Mininderain.
Linden discovers that it is this bane which is the source of Kevin's Dirt. The bane slumbers, however, and without any conceivable means to oppose it, the party leaves it sleeping, and enter the Lost Deep. While Linden's companions are held enthralled by the wonders of the Viles' ancient abode, the Harrow leaves them to take Jeremiah for his own ambitious schemes.
There, he confronts the croyel , which hides in one of Jeremiah's constructs designed to conceal it from the Elohim who had previously told Linden they were unable to free her son. Liand attacks it, and the croyel nearly kills him. The Harrow believes that due to this construct, the croyel will be unable to summon aid — meaning Roger who was gifted one of the mad Elohim Kastenessen's hands, and therefore has some Elohim powers.
However, the croyel surprises him by summoning skest instead, and the party are nearly overwhelmed. In desperation, Linden destroys the construct, which immediately allows Roger to transport himself to the fight, where he promptly murders the Harrow. Before Roger can claim the Staff and ring, however, his father intervenes, battling against him with Loric's krill. Through the krill , Joan exerts her power to harm Covenant, and his hands are so badly burned that Linden is later forced to amputate his remaining fingertips.
With Stave's aid against the croyel , Linden is able to combine forces with Covenant to force Roger to flee. By holding the croyel at bay with the threat of the krill — one of few weapons that can slay the monster — the party are able to bring Jeremiah and the croyel with them. The skurj also arrive to worsen the situation.
Exposed more intimately to the bane's evil than the other party members by her Earthsight — and being a more ready target due to her family history of abuse and despair — Linden's hope finally fails when the party is cornered, and she falls into a catatonic state, deeply traumatized.
Covenant first tries to reason with She Who Must Not be Named, then tries to convince Esmer to reveal her true name which would release her. When Esmer refuses, Covenant asks Anele to use Liand's orcrest stone to summon the spirits of his parents, Sunder and Hollian. As Elena is being consumed Covenant convinces Esmer to leave them, which allows the Ardent to transport the company away.
The Ardent transports the group to a location near Landsdrop. The Ardent can no longer assist them since he failed to protect the Harrow, and begins to madden and die, though through him the race of the Insequent announce that he has become the greatest among them. Somewhat later, as a final service to Linden, he transports the Cords to Revelstone, so that they might convince the Masters to march against the Sandgorgons and skurj that are attacking the Upper Land.
The Demondim-spawn then depart. Abruptly, Covenant leaves with the two remaining Humbled to confront Joan. Linden and her companions follow the Ranyhyn, trusting the wise horses to know best what they must do next to confront the Land's doom. They lead Linden to a quarry of bones named Muirwin Delenoth. The bones belonged to quellvisks, an extinct race of monsters that Lord Foul created in an attempt to rouse the Worm by attacking the Elohim this plot failed, and the quellvisks were eradicated by the Elohim.
Unprompted, Jeremiah begins building a construct with the quellvisk bones, somehow using the ancient lost craft of anundivian yajna.
The group are promptly targets of more than one foe: Joan, who begins assailing them with caesures; and Infelice, who appears and attempts to stop Jeremiah. She hints that Jeremiah's construct will capture the Elohim, which she cannot permit. She describes his actions as "ruin incarnate". She also warns that Lord Foul's "deeper purpose" which he hinted at when Linden was summoned in The Runes of the Earth is to use Jeremiah's power, after the fall of the Arch of Time, to create a prison for the Creator, allowing Foul to rule all universes.
This, at last, is what has long been hinted at in references to "the shadow on the heart" of the Elohim: Infelice insists that Jeremiah's building must not be completed. In exchange for Linden stopping Jeremiah, Infelice offers a promise of the Elohim's protection for the boy, to ensure he does not fall back into the Despiser's hands. Linden refuses the bargain, and as a caesure attacks, Infelice binds Linden and Stave with enchantment, and moves to attack Jeremiah. However, Stave and Linden resist, and with the assistance of the Ranyhyn, Linden is able to throw Jeremiah's old toy race car that Esmer had previously repaired to her son, who uses it to complete his construct.
Infelice vanishes, and it is revealed that the construct is a doorway into Jeremiah's mind enabling him to escape the prison of his mind and finally gain cognizance. At last he and his mother share an embrace, and Linden is able to believe "that her rent heart might heal". He refuses to ride a Ranyhyn in accordance with his ancient bargain with them, so the Humbled's Ranyhyn bring with them the steed formerly ridden by the Harrow, which they compel to bear Covenant.
On the journey he speaks to the Feroce, diminutive creatures who worship the Lurker of the Sarangrave. They are offshoots of the same race that produced the skest and the sur-jheherrin.
The Feroce tell Covenant that the Lurker wants to be allied with Covenant, since it has realised the peril of the Worm as a common enemy. Covenant accepts this alliance, and the Feroce later help him when they battle with the skest.
Covenant reaches Joan by entering a caesure; Branl and Clyme follow him with Haruchai loyalty, though Covenant is able to free only himself from the warped instant of time. He realises that Joan is beyond reach as she rebukes his efforts to help her, and intends to kill him. Covenant calls the Ranyhyn, who are able to distract Joan — due to her love of horses. The distraction provides him the opportunity to drive the krill through Joan's heart, ending the caesure and freeing the Humbled.
Covenant and the Humbled climb onto the shore to evade a tidal wave caused by the Worm's approach to the Land; they survive, though the Humbled's Ranyhyn mounts are lost. Hence it will follow, that the moral rectitude of the disposition, inclination, or affection of God Chiefly consists in a regard to Himself, infinitely above his regard to all other beings; or, in other words, his holiness consists in this. And if it be thus fit that God should have a supreme regard to himself, then it is fit that this supreme regard should appear in those things by which he makes himself known, or by his word and works, i.
When we are considering what would be most fit for God chiefly to respect, with regard to the universality of things, it may help us to judge with greater ease and satisfaction, to consider, what we can suppose would be determined by some third being of perfect wisdom and rectitude, that should be perfectly indifferent and disinterested.
Or if we make the supposition, that infinitely wise justice and rectitude were a distinct disinterested person, whose office it was to determine how things shall be most 10 properly ordered in the whole kingdom of existence, including king and subjects, God and his creatures; and, upon a view of the whole, to decide what regard should prevail in all proceedings.
Now such a judge, in adjusting the proper measures and kinds of regard, would weigh things in an even balance; taking care, that a greater part of the whole should be more respected, than the lesser, in proportion other things being equal to the measure of existence.
So that the degree of regard should always be in a proportion of excellence, or according to the degree of greatness and goodness, considered conjunctly. Such an arbiter, in considering the system of created intelligent beings by itself, would determine, that the system in general, consisting of many millions, was of greater importance, and worthy of a greater share of regard, than only one individual.
For, however considerable some of the individuals might be, no one exceeds others so much as to countervail all the system. And if this judge consider not only the system of created beings, but the system of being in general, comprehending the sum total of universal existence, both Creator and creature; still every part must be considered according to its importance, or the measure it has of existence and excellence.
To determine then, what proportion of regard is to be allotted to the Creator, and all his creatures taken together, both must be as it were put in the balance; the Supreme Being, with all in him that is great and excellent, is to be compared with all that is to be found in the whole creation: and according as the former is found to outweigh, in such proportion is he to have a greater share of regard. And in this case, as the whole system of created beings, in comparison of the Creator, would be found as the light dust of the balance, or even as nothing and vanity; so the arbiter must determine accordingly with respect to the degree in which God should be regarded, by all intelligent existence, in all actions and proceedings, determinations and effects whatever, whether creating, preserving, using, disposing, changing, or destroying.
And as the Creator is infinite, and has all possible existence, perfection, and excellence, so he must have all possible regard. As he is every way the first and supreme, and as his excellency is in all respects the supreme beauty and glory, the original good, and fountain of all good; so he must have in all respects the supreme regard.
And as he is God over all, to whom all are properly subordinate, and on whom all depend, worthy to reign as supreme Head, with absolute and universal dominion; so it is fit that he should be so regarded by all, and in all proceedings and effects through the whole system: The universality of things, in their whole compass and series, should look to him, in such a manner, as that respect to him should reign over all respect to other things, and regard to creatures should, universally, be subordinate and subject.
When I speak of regard to be thus adjusted in the universal system, I mean the regard of the sum total; all intelligent existence, created and uncreated. For it is fit, that the regard of the Creator should be proportioned to the worthiness of objects, as well as the regard of creatures. Thus, we must conclude, that such an arbiter as I have supposed, would determine, that the whole universe, in all its actings, proceedings, revolution, and entire series of events, should proceed with a view to God, as the supreme and last end; that every wheel, in all its rotations, should move with a constant invariable regard to him as the ultimate end of all; as perfectly and uniformly, as if the whole system were animated and directed by one common soul.
Or, as if such an arbiter as I have before supposed, possessed of perfect wisdom and rectitude, became the common soul of the universe, and actuated and governed it in all its motions.
Thus I have gone upon the supposition of a third disinterested person. The thing supposed is impossible; but the case is, nevertheless, just the same, as to what is most fit and suitable in itself. For it is most certainly proper for God to act, according to the greatest fitness, and he knows what the greatest fitness is, as much as if perfect rectitude were a distinct person to direct him.
God himself is possessed of that perfect discernment and rectitude which have been supposed. It belongs to him as supreme arbiter, and to his infinite wisdom and rectitude, to state all rules and measures of proceedings. And seeing these attributes of God are infinite, and most absolutely perfect, they are not the less fit to order and dispose, because they are in him, who is a being concerned, and not a third person that is disinterested.
For being interested unfits a person to be an arbiter or judge, no otherwise, than as interest tends to mislead his judgment, or incline him to act contrary to it. But that God should be in danger of either, is contrary to the supposition of his being absolutely perfect.
And as there must be some supreme judge of fitness and 11 propriety in the universality of things, or otherwise there could be no order, it therefore belongs to God, whose are all things, who is perfectly fit for this office, and who alone is so, to state all things according to the most perfect fitness and rectitude, as much as if perfect rectitude were a distinct person.
We may therefore be sure it is and will be done. I should think that these things might incline us to suppose, that God has not forgot himself, in the ends which he proposed in the creation of the world; but that he has so stated these ends however self-sufficient, immutable, and independent , as therein plainly to show a supreme regard to himself. Whether this can be, or whether God has done thus, must be considered afterwards, as also what may be objected against this view of things.
Whatsoever is good, amiable, and valuable in itself, absolutely and originally which facts and events show that God aimed at in the creation of the world , must be supposed to be regarded or aimed at by God ultimately, or as an ultimate end of creation.
But if God values a thing simply and absolutely on its own account, then it is the ultimate object of his value. For to suppose that he values it only for some farther end, is in direct contradiction to the present supposition, which is, that he values it absolutely, and for itself. Hence it most clearly follows, that if that which God values for itself, appears, in fact and experience, to be what he seeks by anything he does, he must regard it as an ultimate end.
And, therefore, if he seeks it in creating the world, or any part of the world, it is an ultimate end of the work of creation. Having got thus far, we may now proceed a step farther, and assert: 6.
We see that it is a good which God aimed at by the creation of the world; because he has actually attained it by that means. For we may justly infer what God intends, by what he actually does; because he does nothing inadvertently, or without design.
But whatever God intends to attain, from a value for it, in his actions and works, that he seeks in those acts and works. Because, for an agent to intend to attain something he values by the means he uses, is the same thing as to seek it by those means. And this is the same as to make that thing his end in those means. Now, it being, by the supposition, what God values ultimately, it must therefore, by the preceding position, be aimed at by God, as an ultimate end of creating the world.
Chapter I Section II Some further observations concerning those things which reason leads us to suppose God aimed at in the creation of the world From what was last observed, it seems to be the most proper way of proceeding — as we would see what light reason will give us, respecting the particular end or ends God had ultimately in view in the creation of the world — to consider, what thing or things are actually the effect or consequence of the creation of the world, that are simply and originally valuable in themselves.
It seems a thing in itself proper and desirable, that the glorious attributes of God, which consist in a sufficiency to certain acts and effects, should be exerted in the production of such effects as might manifest his infinite power, wisdom, righteousness, goodness, etc. If the world had not been created, these attributes never would have had any exercise.
The power of God, which is a sufficiency in him to produce great effects, must forever have been dormant and useless as to any effect. The divine wisdom and prudence would have had no exercise in any wise contrivance, any prudent proceeding, or disposal of things; for there would have been no objects of contrivance or disposal.
Indeed God might have known as perfectly that he possessed these attributes, if they never had been exerted or expressed in any effect. But then, if the attributes which consist in a sufficiency for correspondent effects, are in themselves excellent, the exercises of them must likewise be excellent. If it be an excellent thing, that there should be a sufficiency for a certain kind of action or operation, the excellency of such a sufficiency must consist in its relation to this kind of operation or effect; but that could not be, unless the operation itself were excellent.
A sufficiency for any work is no further valuable, than the work itself is valuable. As God therefore esteems these attributes themselves valuable, and delights in them; so it is natural to suppose that he delights in their proper exercise and expression.
For the same reason that he esteems his own sufficiency wisely to contrive and dispose effects, he also will esteem the wise contrivance and disposition itself. And for the same reason, as he delights in his own disposition to do justly, and to dispose of things according to truth and just proportion; so he must delight in such a righteous disposal itself. It seems to be a thing in itself fit and desirable, that the glorious perfections of God should be known, and the operations and expressions of them seen, by other beings besides himself.
For if they are, it will be just the same, as to the above purpose, as if they were not. God as perfectly knew himself and his perfections, had as perfect an idea of the exercises and effects they were sufficient for, antecedently to any such actual operations of them, and since.
If, therefore, it be nevertheless a thing in itself valuable, and worthy to be desired, that these glorious perfections be actually exhibited in their correspondent effects; then it seems also, that the knowledge of these perfections and discoveries is valuable in itself absolutely considered; and that it is desirable that this knowledge should exist.
And that there should be in them an increasing knowledge of God to all eternity, is worthy to be regarded by him, to whom it belongs to order what is fittest and best. If existence is more worthy than defect and non-entity, and if any created existence is in itself worthy to be, then knowledge is; and if any knowledge, then the most excellent sort of knowledge, viz.
This knowledge is one of the highest, most real, and substantial parts of all created existence, most remote from non-entity and defect. There is no more reason to esteem it a suitable thing, that there should be an idea in the understanding corresponding unto the glorious object, than that there should be a corresponding affection in the will.
If the perfection itself be excellent, the knowledge of it is excellent, and so is the esteem and love of it excellent. And as it is fit that God should love and esteem his own excellence, it is also fit that he should 13 value and esteem the love of his excellency. And if it becomes a being highly to value himself, it is fit that he should love to have himself valued and esteemed. As there is an infinite fullness of all possible good in God — a fullness of every perfection, of all excellency and beauty, and of infinite happiness — and as this fullness is capable of communication, or emanation ad extra; so it seems a thing amiable and valuable in itself that this infinite fountain of good should send forth abundant streams.
And as this is in itself excellent, so a disposition to this in the Divine Being, must be looked upon as an excellent disposition. Such an emanation of good is, in some sense, a multiplication of it. So far as the stream may be looked upon as anything besides the fountain, so far it may be looked on as an increase of good. And if the fullness of good that is in the fountain, is in itself excellent, then the emanation, which is as it were an increase, repetition, or multiplication of it, is excellent.
Thus it is fit, since there is an infinite fountain of light and knowledge, that this light should shine forth in beams of communicated knowledge and understanding; and, as there is an infinite fountain of holiness, moral excellence, and beauty, that so it should flow out in communicated holiness.
And that, as there is an infinite fullness of joy and happiness, so these should have an emanation, and become a fountain flowing out in abundant streams, as beams from the sun. For an inclination in God to communicate himself to an object, seems to presuppose the existence of the object, at least in idea. But the diffusive disposition that excited God to give creatures existence, was rather a communicative disposition in general, or a disposition in the fullness of the divinity to flow out and diffuse itself.
Thus the disposition there is in the root and stock of a tree to diffuse sap and life, is doubtless the reason of their communication to its buds, leaves, and fruits, after these exist.
But a disposition to communicate of its life and sap to its fruits, is not so properly the cause of its producing those fruits, as its disposition to diffuse its sap and life in general. Therefore, to speak strictly according to truth, we may suppose, that a disposition in God, as an original property of his nature, to an emanation of his own infinite fullness, was what excited him to create the world; and so, that the emanation itself was aimed at by him as a last end of the creation.
Because it is agreeable to the dictates of reason, that in all his proceedings he should set himself highest; therefore, I would endeavor to show, how his infinite love to and delight in himself, will naturally cause him to value and delight in these things: or rather, how a value to these things is implied in his value of that infinite fullness of good that is in himself.
If one highly esteem and delight in the virtues of a friend, as wisdom, justice, etc. So if God both esteem and delight in his own perfections and virtues, he cannot but value and delight in the expressions and genuine effects of them. So that in delighting in the expressions of his perfections, he manifests a delight in himself; and in making these expressions of his own perfections his end, he makes himself his end.
And with respect to the second and third particulars, the matter is no less plain. For he that loves any being, and has a disposition highly to prize and greatly to delight in his virtues and perfections, must from the same disposition be well pleased to have his excellencies known, acknowledged, esteemed, and prized by others. He that loves anything, naturally loves the approbation of that thing, and is opposite to the disapprobation of it.
Thus it is when one loves the virtues of a friend. And thus it will necessarily be, if a being loves himself and highly prizes his own excellencies; and thus it is fit it should be, if it be fit he should thus love himself, and prize his own valuable qualities; that is, it is fit that he should take delight in his own excellencies being seen, acknowledged, esteemed, and delighted in.
This is implied in a love to himself and his own perfections; and in making this his end, he makes himself his end. And with respect to the fourth and last particular, viz. Merely in this disposition to cause an emanation of his glory and fullness — which is prior to the existence of any other being, and is to be considered as the inciting cause of giving existence to other beings — God cannot so properly be said to make the creature his end, as himself.
For the creature is not as yet considered as existing. This disposition or desire in God, must be prior to the existence of the creature, even in foresight. For it is a disposition that is the original ground even of the future, intended, and foreseen existence of the creature. In a larger sense, it may signify nothing diverse from that good disposition in his nature to communicate of his own fullness in general; as his knowledge, his holiness, and happiness; and to give creatures existence in order to it.
This may be called benevolence, or love, because it is the same good disposition that is exercised in love. But yet this cannot have any particular present or future created existence for its object; because it is prior to any such object, and the very source of the futurities of its existence. Love, in the most strict and proper sense, presupposes the existence of the object beloved, at least in idea and expectation, and represented to the mind as future.
God did not love angels in 15 the strictest sense, but in consequence of his intending to create them, and so having an idea of future existing angels.
Therefore his love to them was not properly what excited him to intend to create them. Love or benevolence, strictly taken, presupposes and existing object, as much as pity a miserable suffering object. This propensity in God to diffuse himself, may be considered as a propensity to himself diffused; or to his own glory existing in its emanation. A respect to himself, or an infinite propensity to and delight in his own glory, is that which causes him to incline to its being abundantly diffused, and to delight in the emanation of it.
Thus, that nature in a tree, by which it puts forth buds, shoots out branches, and brings forth leaves and fruit, is a disposition that terminates in its own complete self. And so the disposition in the sun to shine, or abundantly to diffuse its fullness, warmth, and brightness, is only a tendency to its own most glorious and complete state.
So God looks on the communication of himself, and the emanation of his infinite glory, to belong to the fullness and completeness of himself; as though he were not in his most glorious state without it.
Thus the church of Christ toward whom and in whom are the emanations of his glory, and the communication of his fullness , is called the fullness of Christ; as though he were not in his complete state without her; like Adam without Eve. And the church is called the glory of Christ, as the woman is the glory of the man, 1 Cor.
I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel MY GLORY — Indeed, after the creatures are intended to be created, God may be conceived of as being moved by benevolence to them, in the strictest sense, in his dealings with them.
Here God acting for himself, or making himself his last end, and his acting for their sake, are not to be set in opposition; they are rather to be considered as coinciding one with the other, and implied one in the other. One part of that divine fullness which is communicated, is the divine knowledge. God, in making this his end, makes himself his end. This knowledge in the creature, is but a conformity to God. It is a participation of the same; though infinitely less in degree: as particular beams of the sun communicated are the light and glory of the sun itself, in part.
As therefore God values himself, as he delights in his own knowledge, he must delight in every thing of that nature: as he delights in his own light, he must delight in every beam of that light; and as he highly values his own excellency, he must be well pleased in having it manifested, and so glorified. And then it must be considered wherein this holiness in the creature consists, viz. All which things are nothing else but the heart exalting, magnifying, or glorifying God; which, as I showed before, God necessarily approves of, and is pleased with, as he loves himself, and values the glory of his own nature.
It is a participation of what is in God; and God and his glory are the objective ground of it. The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God; by which also God is magnified and exalted. So that God is all in all, with respect to each part of that communication of the divine fullness which is made to the creature. What is communicated is divine, or something of God; and each communication is of that nature, that the creature to whom it is made, is thereby conformed to God, and untied to him: and that in proportion as the communication is greater or less.
And the communication itself is no other, in the very nature of it, than that wherein the very honor, exaltation, and praise of God consists. And it is farther to be considered, that what God aimed at in the creation of the world, as the end which he had ultimately in view, was that communication of himself which he intended through all eternity.